Before you begin the home search process, consider picking a real estate agent first. An agent will guide you through the process, sharing valuable information and insights.
Most agents will not expect you to sign any sort of agency agreement this early in the process, so consider it an opportune time to test drive your agent and decide whether he or she is a good fit for you and your desired approach to finding a new home.
Of course, we’d like you to consider using the CapCenter Team and believe that we offer many distinct competitive advantages compared to the more traditional stand-alone realty and mortgage models.
For most of us, a home is the most expensive purchase we will ever make, and it can be difficult to even know where to begin. We recommend that you get pre-approved for a loan before you spend a lot of time searching for a home. This will:
CapCenter will be happy to provide you a free, no obligation Pre-Approval Letter. It’s easy and fast -- simply complete our online application and we will contact you shortly. Your Loan Consultant will then provide a Pre-Approval Letter and Clarity Statement which document the loan amount for which you are approved and the costs associated with the loan transaction. The Clarity Statement will also plainly show all the costs covered by CapCenter’s Zero Closing Cost offer. Our goal is to demystify the loan approval process by making sure you have a firm understanding of your debt-to-income ratio, estimated monthly mortgage payments, cash to close, escrows, pre-paids, closing costs, and if applicable, mortgage insurance. Your Managing Agent works as a team with your Loan Consultant throughout, facilitating your movement through the process and ensuring that you are ready to begin your home search as soon as possible.
Today, there are many ways to search for a home online and, in our opinion, there’s no particular site that has a clear advantage over all the others. It’s simply a matter of personal preference.
You might find it helpful to try out CapCenter’s search tool – it includes all the homes listed through the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and also displays your potential Zero Closing Cost loan and Realty Refund savings.
Regardless of which search tool(s) you use, there are several fundamentals you should keep in mind when you begin the process of finding a home.
If you haven’t already selected an agent and signed an agency agreement, now is the time. Identifying your buyer’s agent before you attend an open house or an agent showing will avoid confusion about procuring cause. If you intend to use CapCenter, this is also the best way to guarantee that you will receive thousands of dollars in Realty Refund savings and enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you are represented by a team of professionals looking out for your interests.
Of course, even if you have an agent you can attend open houses on your own, but if the listing agent asks who is representing you, be sure to give them the name of your buyer’s agent. And, remember, your buyer’s agent only represents you and is in no way obligated to the seller.
When you’re ready to attend an agent showing, contact us and we will arrange the showing at your convenience. We believe it is very important for you to see a representative sampling of homes as a point of comparison, so we’re available to arrange multiple showings at the same time. That way, you are more likely to make a well-informed and confident choice.
If you are a new homebuyer and aren’t sure where to begin, simply contact your CapCenter Managing Agent and we will be happy to compile a list of homes that may be of interest to you based on your priorities.
Rest assured, your CapCenter Team will not steer you to CapCenter listings or toward higher priced homes or neighborhoods which might be outside your comfort zone. Our CapCenter professionals are not compensated based on the price of the home or the size of the loan. Instead, we are compensated on ethically and professionally meeting your needs.
So, you’ve found the house of your dreams, but you are unsure of what happens next. Don’t worry, your CapCenter Team is here to help, and this is where our expertise really shines.
Your Managing Agent will help you figure out the price you should offer and will guide you through the negotiation and contract processes. If you’re a first-time homebuyer, this will involve learning new financial and legal terminology, weighing various considerations and deciphering a labyrinth of numbers. We are happy to take time to explain anything you don’t understand because, at the end of the day, this is YOUR decision, but you’re not alone.
At CapCenter we are committed to simplifying and sharing information with you. Your MA will share the details of their home valuation analysis and clarify the process required to make an offer. They will expertly guide you through the purchase negotiation and educate you on contract terminology, including contingencies that might affect the negotiation process. Topics you’ll discuss in addition to property valuation include earnest money deposit, inspections, conveyance of personal property, and the financing contingency. Your MA will also help you determine realistic timelines for inspections, the closing date, etc.
Rest assured, when CapCenter represents you, we help you thoughtfully consider the following points:
Once a buyer and seller mutually agree to a sales price and other contractual terms and sign the purchase contract, the house is now a pending sale. For most buyers and sellers, however, the sale is not considered a sure thing until all inspections have been completed and any additional negotiations are finalized.
The home inspection process is one of the most important steps in the home-buying process. It can also be one of the most confusing. A knowledgeable agent will help you decide which inspections to pursue and how to respond to the inspection findings. An inspection can result in the re-opening of the price negotiations and an adjustment to the price or the addition of seller credits to the deal. Occasionally, an inspection can also cause the buyer to decline to move forward with the purchase, so it’s particularly important to fully understand this very important step.
Your CapCenter team is well-versed in all types of property inspections and will introduce you to a list of qualified inspectors. As the home-buying quarterback, we’ll attend the inspections and keep you 100% informed every step of the way. View a list of home inspections to learn the importance of each here.
Once your inspections are finished, together we will decide whether to ask the seller to repair the condition, or to provide a seller credit or renegotiate a lower sales price. In extreme situations, we might jointly decide that it’s best for you to actually walk away from the deal.
After signing the purchase contract, it’s also time to finalize your financing. Since you have already been pre-approved for a loan, this step will be relatively simple with no unpleasant surprises. And, because you will be busy making arrangements to move, your Managing Agent will take the lead in coordinating with your Loan Consultant to get your loan terms and Commitment Offer finalized as quickly as possible.
Getting a mortgage might seem daunting in this day and age, particularly to new homebuyers, but when you use CapCenter, all you have to do is sit back and relax and let us walk you through the process. With your Managing Agent by your side, you will fully appreciate the value of CapCenter's one-stop-shop because you can avoid the typical communication and coordination frustrations of dealing with multiple service providers. Your Managing Agent will help you submit requested supporting documents, orient you to CapCenter’s Commitment Offer and disclosures, and interpret all the mortgage-related jargon. You will also select a closing attorney from CapCenter’s list of approved attorneys, and line up homeowner’s insurance. Relax, we have you covered!
Okay. You and your CapCenter team have wrapped up the inspections, secured your financing and you are ready to close. A day or two before your closing date, your CapCenter Closing Consultant will provide the final Settlement Statement for your review. This document will itemize the funds you need to bring to closing and will validate that CapCenter has covered your traditional closing costs and credited you with a portion of the realty commission we are earning from the seller.
Your Managing Agent will arrange a final walk through with the Listing Agent and will accompany you on the walk through.
Closing day is finally here! It is now time to go to your attorney’s office. Simply bring a certified check for your down payment and other cash to close. Don’t forget your photo identification (a driver’s license will suffice).
Your Managing Agent will attend the closing with you, but rest assured that your closing attorney will have taken care of all the details on your behalf, including the following:
After you sign the closing documents, you can leave your attorney’s office confident that your attorney will take care of the rest. They will ensure that the Deed of Trust is recorded and that the seller gets the monies due to them. They will make sure that the title insurance is properly secured and that CapCenter receives the documents that we need for the loan.
Congratulations, you are now a proud homeowner and part of the American dream!
Be sure to get some help in staging your home. At a minimum, remove clutter and personal items (like photographs). You might even want to use a professional stager to rearrange the furniture or temporarily add some decorative elements to your home.
Almost everyone starts their home search on the internet so good photography is paramount. Talk to your agent about their plan for making sure your home photographs well and that the pictures are clear and show your home at its best.
You might consider getting a general home inspection before you put your home on the market. This will allow you to make any necessary repairs before a potential buyer visits your home and it might influence your asking price. In some situations it might also make sense to get an appraisal to establish current market value based on recent comparable sales.
Even without an inspection, you might be aware of some items that need to be repaired. Discuss these with your MA to decide which ones might affect the marketability of your home.
Here are some of the do’s and don’ts when preparing to market your home.
The initial asking price for your home will determine how quickly it sells. Too high? Your home will sit on the market and any initial surge of interest will wane quickly. Too low? You might leave money on the table. Just right? More than one buyer will be interested which will hopefully result in a bidding war and the best deal for you. Get a comparative market analysis from your agent and ask to see the details.
We know your listing will get four times more traffic in its first week on the market than it will in any week after that, so we’ll develop a plan to capitalize on this surge of interest. Your custom plan will include a combination of marketing tactics such as:
While we manage the marketing and property showings, you just need to sit back, relax and let the offers roll in. We’ll help you evaluate all offers and pick the best one FOR YOU. Price might not be the only consideration as some offers will include financing and other contingencies, plus some potential buyers might have a time table that is not consistent with yours.
If you’re working with CapCenter, you will have peace of mind knowing that you can trust your MA to help you objectively evaluate the pros and cons of each offer. Of course this is YOUR decision, but we’ll be happy to offer advice based on our local market knowledge and financing expertise.
Once you accept an offer and sign the purchase contract, we will focus on making sure the transaction closes on time. Your MA will verify the purchaser’s final loan approval and will facilitate any inspections (including the termite inspection, which is the seller’s responsibility) or other required legwork. If further negotiations are needed as a result of the inspections, your MA will reopen negotiations pursuant to the Purchase Agreement.
Closing day is almost here and your MA will tie up the few remaining loose ends, such as coordinating with the closing attorney and facilitating the purchaser’s final walk through.
The buyer’s closing attorney will prepare and provide the final Settlement Statement which will itemize your net proceeds from the sale, including the buy and list side agent commissions, prorated payments for costs you have already paid (such as HOA dues, taxes, oil, etc.). Your CapCenter MA will be happy to review all the final numbers with you.
Your closing attorney will prepare the new Deed which is the legal document that transfers ownership of the property from you to the buyers. You will sign this in advance of the closing so that it can be included in the buyer’s package of closing documents.
Congratulations, your house is sold!